Faith …. Hebrews 11:6 … November 27, 2016 LOVE …. 1 John 4:9-10 … December 11, 2016

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Peace …. John 14:27 … December 4, 2016

       Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give you.  Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27 ESV

 Peace is longed for and sought by many but unfortunately never found.  Peace is not something you can buy or manufacture because true peace is a gift from Jesus.  Peace is not the absent of conflict in a person’s life, but rather a keen awareness of  Jesus’s abiding presence in your life.  This is why  it is so important to read, consume, breath, and believe the scripture in daily life.  Do you want peace in your life? Then seek Jesus and you will find it.  Isaiah told us that the coming Jesus would be the Prince of Peace, and there would be no end to his peace.  For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be uno his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor. Mighty God, Everlasting Father, PRINCE OF PEACE.  Of the increase of his government and of PEACE there will be no end. Isaiah 9:6-7a ESV  It is imperative that one seeks Jesus as Savior and Lord to have this peace that will never pass away.  Peace the world offers is only temporal and is tied to whatever supposedly brings that peace.  Temporal, because everything in this world will pass away.  If the world gives it to you, then it can be taken it away; but if  Jesus gives peace, then it can never be taken away.  Let me give you three thoughts for peaceful living.  

     FOCUS …..  Whatever dominates your mind will control you.  When Peter stepped out of the boat to walk on the water towards Jesus, he begin to sink only when he took his eyes off  Jesus. (Matthew 14:29-30)  Jesus must be the focus in your life.  Remember he said, “My peace I give to you.”  To receive peace you must be looking to the one who can give it.  Jesus is the giver of true peace, and you will find it in no one else.  In the race of life, Jesus must be the focus. Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great  cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, LOOKING TO JESUS, the founder and perfector of our faith, who for the JOY that was set before him ENDURED the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV   
      
     CONFLICT …… Peace is not the absent of conflict in one’s life; it is the oasis for the mind in the middle of conflict.  Jesus addressed this, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have PEACE. In the world you will have tribulation.  But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33 ESV  As in the afore mentioned concerning  focus,  the cross was no doubt tribulation, but Jesus truly overcame the world.
     
     GRACE…. Grace received comes before peace.  Grace understands unmerited forgiveness from God the Father.  Not because it is deserved, but rather it is His gift to you.  For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing: it is a GIFT OF GOD   Ephesians 2:8 ESV  Paul, a major writer of the New Testament, understood this well as reflected in his writing.  At the beginning of many of the letters, he used this exact phrase as recorded in the ESV translation of the Bible.  Grace to you and peace from God our Father.”   Romans 1:7 ……1 Corinthians 1:3 … 2 Corinthians 1:2 … Galatians 1:3 … Ephesians 1:2 …  Philippians 1:2 ….  Colossians 1:2 … 2 Thessalonians 1:2 … Titus 1:4  … Philemon 1:3  In his other letters it was worded somewhat different but still has grace coming before peace.  

     There are many other thoughts that could be added to the acquiring of peace, but these provide what I believe to be basic principles in finding peace with God.  In a closing thought there are many who are in conflict in our world today, and one wonders why so much so.  This thought comes to my mind.  If we are at peace in the Lord with ourselves, we are more apt to be at peace with others.  I wonder how many people are acting out the conflict and lack of peace in their own lives by inflicting it upon others.  We cannot control the actions of others, but let us  join in the chorus of the angles in Luke chapter two after the announcement of Jesus brith.  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!  Luke 2:14 ESV.   
 
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David
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